Fight the fatigue
We’ve all been there: we roll out of bed after a bad night’s sleep – be it from insomnia, working late hours or disruption from kids – to discover our lack of rest has taken itself out on our skin. From dark under-eye circles to a puffy, dull complexion, a bad night’s sleep can heavily impact the way we look. Overnight, skin cells go into regeneration mode, replacing damaged or dead cells with new ones. Skin also repairs any damage made by pollution and UV radiation while you sleep, so if you don’t get enough hours, you can end up looking a little worse for wear come morning. While prevention is easier than treatment when it comes to ultra-fatigued skin (read our guide to sleeping well here), we all know that having a great night’s sleep is not always possible. Happily, this is where we step in: just think of this as your plan B, featuring some emergency solutions on how to beat fatigued skin and look your best regardless of whether you got 8 hours or not…
It’s best to approach your fatigue head-on, which means starting by waking up your entire body before honing in on your face. Susanna Saiu, product expert at Ren, suggests braving some cold water first thing in the morning to liven up the skin and boost circulation: “It might be the last thing you want, but it’s fantastic for your skin.” She continues: “Start with lukewarm water first and then switch to cold water for a few minutes.”
Use something ultra-uplifting while washing, such as the Ren Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash, which contains magnesium and kelp to revive tired skin on the body and awaken your senses. We also like the Aromatherapy Associates Revive Morning Bath and Shower Oil, which contains invigorating ingredients such as grapefruit and juniper. After the shower opt for nourishing, uplifting products that will make you feel ready to face the day. A soothing body oil like Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Riche (which will add a glow to dull, dry skin) or a zesty deodorant or fragrance can make all the difference.
If you can’t face a cool shower, a cold splash of water on the face prior to skincare will reduce the appearance of dehydration and tighten pores so skin looks more rested. Keep eye creams and serums in the fridge for an extra-refreshing boost afterwards. To further improve things, try facial massage using Sarah Chapman’s Facialift. “Massage as you cleanse to help improve circulation and lymphatic drainage,” suggests Claire Vevo, founder of Aurelia Probiotics.
Keeping skin exfoliated and thoroughly hydrated are the two best ways to fight fatigue. Exfoliating helps to remove “damaged layers and dead skin cells [which] diffuse light and make skin look dull,” says Susannah. For a less abrasive exfoliant, try Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, which contains lactic acid that aids skin regeneration by sloughing away dead skin. A glow-boosting serum before moisturiser will deliver a high concentration of active ingredients deep into the skin. The Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Revitalise and Glow Serum works beautifully, while the Ren Flash Hydro-Boost Instant Plumping Emulsion – while not strictly a serum – is a super quick fix for dull skin. Masking in the morning offers a fast fix when you’re tired, and the increasing number of 5-minute formulas makes it easy to pop one on while brushing your teeth; the red clay in Sisley’s Radiant Glow Express Mask is excellent at removing impurities which cause skin to look dull. Finally, inject some vitamin C into your routine with Sunday Riley’s C.E.O + E Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturiser , which noticeably brightens the skin and promotes a healthy glow.
If skin isn’t your thing, there are a number of makeup tricks you can rely on to brighten up a tired complexion. Tempting as it is to cover up with a heavy base, this can only make skin look more dull. Opt for an illuminating primer, followed by a glow-boosting tinted moisturiser to give an instant hit of radiance. Cream-based products are preferable to powder, which can often make skin look drier; we like RMS’ Magic Luminizer.
When it comes to eyes and lips, the bigger and brighter, the better. Open up exhausted eyes with a volumizing, lengthening mascara formula like Chantecaille’s Faux Cils Mascara Longest Lash before applying a creamy shadow all over the lid, focusing on the inner-corners to brighten things up. Finish with a red lipstick, which can brighten up the entire face and detract from dark eyes. We adore the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana, or if you’re looking for something a little subtler, try the gorgeous Lipstick Queen Mornin’ Sunshine, which adapts to the natural colour of your lips to offer a subtle boost.